THE Women’s Super Cup resumes in Windhoek and Gobabis this weekend against the backdrop of limiting Covid-19 restrictions.
There is no obligatory testing for the virus as it is a costly exercise, the organisers said. So, the onus is on clubs to ensure personnel are not in the red. Furthermore, should a team have several players testing positive and thus cannot honour a fixture, the said club forfeits the match.
“Unfortunately, teams are not in biobubbles as this is a very expensive process. But the teams are ensuring that the players are following Covid-19 protocols as set out by the government of Namibia,” tournament coordinator Mervin Geiriseb this week said.
“As you are aware, the PCR test is an expensive exercise, although we have opted to do a match-day screening for each player and official before they gain permission to access the stadium. We have also shared with the team a set of stadium safety protocols that needs to be followed,” Geiriseb said.
The safety measures in place for the competition are the same as when the teams were preparing to restart, he said.
Given the nature of football, social distancing is out of the equation. However, repeated sanitising and the checking of temperature are not.
Each team is required to complete a daily screening checklist before and after training sessions, and before matches.
Match-day squads are limited to 23 players and seven technical team members. That figure doubles to 60 for two teams, which exceeds the permitted public gathering limit by 10 people.
The numbers will rise to nearly 100 once the five mandatory match officials, plus media, security and emergency officials are counted.
Another challenge is the duration of Saturday’s week three match-day programme, which contains three successive fixtures at Ramblers Stadium and a double-header at the NFA Technical Centre.
Group A bottom side Omaheke Queens host lost leaders Galz and Goals FC at Gobabis in the day’s other contest.
Even though all matches will be played behind closed doors, public events are limited to two hours. In organised football a match lasts 90 minutes.
The Women’s Super League did not indicate whether they have obtained permission to relax regulations.
“For us it is not about someone testing positive, for us is it about symptoms or signs. If we detect that someone is above the required temperature, then he or she will not gain access to the stadium, and the emergency service personnel on site will deal with that person in a professional way by escorting him or her to the isolation rooms at the stadium,” said Geiriseb.
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A team may not have more than 12 substitutes, including the two reserve goalkeepers on the official team return. Adequate spacing must be observed on the substitutes’ bench and in the technical area.
“If several players are above the required temperature and makes the team ineligible to play, then such team will forfeit that particular match as they will not gain access to the stadium. Hence each team has the responsibility to ensure that their players and officials are following the set government protocols in combating the spread of this disease,” he said.
“We advocate the teams follow the three Ws, which are wash your hands, wear your mask and watch your social distance,” Geiriseb said.